4 Month Winter Training Plan (Sportive/Club Rider)

Average Weekly Training Hours 07:18
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 07:18
Training Load By Week

Cycling training plan to help keep training and fitness levels up over winter and prevent losing all of your hard work from the summer season!

The plan is split into 4 sections, Preparation (Weeks 1-4), Aerobic Base (Weeks 5-10), Volume (Weeks 11-13) and Intensity (Weeks 14-16). Sequentially working through these will help prepare a platform to take you into next season in the best shape possible.

The plan designed for sportive/serious recreational riders with a mix of indoor and outdoor cycling sessions alongside some conditioning and mobility work. Cycling sessions to be completed using either HR or Power to quantify intensity.

To stick to the training requires around 6-8 hours per week commitment with 3-4 hours of riding at weekends generally required. Varying weekly training stress is factored into the plan to allow fitness to build over the 16 weeks. Also included are some fitness tests for setting training zones with which to complete the sessions.

Sample Day 1
1:00:00
75TSS
Sub-Maximal Ramp Test

Including warm up, the test and cool down the whole session should take around 1 hour to complete and be executed as below. Please read it all carefully and get in touch with any questions if you have never done any testing sessions before.

Light warm up of 10 minutes, keeping HR low and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to a comfortable level (2-4/10). Try to get legs spinning during warm up at 90+RPM.

Attached is a chart detailing the initial power output to use when starting the test. Output should increase from this initial point in increments as detailed in the chart every 3 minutes.

Test to be continued increasing resistance every 3 minutes until RPE reaches 8/10 - unable to speak in more than one word responses to questions, breathing very labored. Once this level is reached the test is complete. Take a moment to recover before spinning legs out for 10 minutes to allow HR to drop gradually and help legs begin returning to normal.

Do NOT take test to maximal, absolute failure, as that should only be undertaken with a trained professional observing the test.

On completion of the test the average power for the final 60s will be your Maximal Minute Power (MMP). This figure should be multiplied by 0.8 to gain an FTP figure with which to calculate power training zones. The final 60s HR again will be used as a Threshold HR itself to calculate HR training zones. The zone calculation can be done on Training Peaks in your Athlete settings in the 'Zones' tab on the left.

HR should be done using 'Lactate Threshold' in the first drop down and 'Andy Coggan (5)' in the second drop down. It will require Threshold Hear Rate, Maximal Heart Rate and Resting Heart rate to be input in the boxes above for this. Threshold we have ust calculated, resting is easily calculated through measuring HR at rest and maximal if not already known can be input as 220 minus your age.

Power should be set using 'Threshold Power' in the first drop down menu and 'Andy Coggan (6)' in the second. Again it will require the input of the Threshold figure we have just calculated from the test.

Sample Day 4
1:05:00
68.9TSS
Pedaling Technique Drills - One Leg Drills

Warm up to the session can be run as protocol above.

This should be followed by 5 sets of one leg efforts per leg with 5 minutes of leg spinning between pairs of efforts.

1 leg drills as below:

Unclip one foot and place at rest on a chair alongside turbo. Pedal through on low resistance with the leg still clipped in, focusing on bringing the leg through the top of the pedal stroke efficiently. This will fatigue hip flexors quickly initially. Once this happens and leg cannot cleanly move through the top of the pedal stroke change legs. Once both are done move into spinning legs out for 5 minutes before beginning next set.These 5 sets should take around 30 minutes to complete so planned time for the session takes this plus the cool down into account

Once sets are all complete a 10 minute warm down to be done to bring HR down through zones from 3 through 2 to 1 gradually. Keep cadence above 90 RPM during this.

The protocol above should only be run as the warm up, there is no specified power outputs required during the sets as we focus on cadence.

Sample Day 8
0:32:00
40.9TSS
6 Minute Threshold Test

Ramped warm up with activation sprints - minutes 1 to 16. Extended active recovery of an additional 5 minutes at 60% and leg speed of 95+ RPM from minutes 16 to 21.

6 minute maximal effort to begin immediately after the recovery at minute 21. Aiming to ride at the highest maintainable power for the full 6 minutes. Riding at what feels natural in cadence, no need to try and force anything specific. The test wants to be a consistent power output for the whole 6 minutes. If power fluctuates too far over this duration the result will not be valid, so we don't want to see you trying harder over the final minute as you felt to have too much left, or the power dropping off as you attempted something unsustainable.

Easy recovery at 50% spinning the legs and letting HR drop.

Sample Day 26
1:00:00
75TSS
Sub-Maximal Ramp Test

Including warm up, the test and cool down the whole session should take around 1 hour to complete and be executed as below. Please read it all carefully and get in touch with any questions if you have never done any testing sessions before.

Light warm up of 10 minutes, keeping HR low and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) to a comfortable level (2-4/10). Try to get legs spinning during warm up at 90+RPM.

Test to be taken using the same initial starting output and ramp increments as in week 1.

As previously test is to be continued increasing power incrementally every 3 minutes until RPE reaches 8/10 - unable to speak in more than one word responses to questions, breathing very labored. Once this level is reached the test is complete. Take a moment to recover before spinning legs out for 10 minutes to allow HR to drop gradually and help legs begin returning to normal.

Do NOT take test to maximal, absolute failure, as that should only be undertaken with a trained professional observing the test.

The results from the test should be used to update training zones if they have changed from previously. Details on utilising the results of the test in setting training zones are repeated below here for reference.



On completion of the test the average power for the final 60s will be your Maximal Minute Power (MMP). This figure should be multiplied by 0.8 to gain an FTP figure with which to calculate power training zones. The final 60s HR again will be used as a Threshold HR itself to calculate HR training zones. The zone calculation can be done on Training Peaks in your Athlete settings in the 'Zones' tab on the left.

HR should be done using 'Lactate Threshold' in the first drop down and 'Andy Coggan (5)' in the second drop down. It will require Threshold Hear Rate, Maximal Heart Rate and Resting Heart rate to be input in the boxes above for this. Threshold we have ust calculated, resting is easily calculated through measuring HR at rest and maximal if not already known can be input as 220 minus your age.

Power should be set using 'Threshold Power' in the first drop down menu and 'Andy Coggan (6)' in the second. Again it will require the input of the Threshold figure we have just calculated from the test.

Sample Day 43
0:32:00
40.9TSS
6 Minute Threshold Test

Ramped warm up with activation sprints - minutes 1 to 16. Extended active recovery of an additional 5 minutes at 60% and leg speed of 95+ RPM from minutes 16 to 21.

6 minute maximal effort to begin immediately after the recovery at minute 21. Aiming to ride at the highest maintainable power for the full 6 minutes. Riding at what feels natural in cadence, no need to try and force anything specific. The test wants to be a consistent power output for the whole 6 minutes. If power fluctuates too far over this duration the result will not be valid, so we don't want to see you trying harder over the final minute as you felt to have too much left, or the power dropping off as you attempted something unsustainable.

Easy recovery at 50% spinning the legs and letting HR drop.

Sample Day 89
0:32:00
40.9TSS
6 Minute Threshold Test

Ramped warm up with activation sprints - minutes 1 to 16. Extended active recovery of an additional 5 minutes at 60% and leg speed of 95+ RPM from minutes 16 to 21.

6 minute maximal effort to begin immediately after the recovery at minute 21. Aiming to ride at the highest maintainable power for the full 6 minutes. Riding at what feels natural in cadence, no need to try and force anything specific. The test wants to be a consistent power output for the whole 6 minutes. If power fluctuates too far over this duration the result will not be valid, so we don't want to see you trying harder over the final minute as you felt to have too much left, or the power dropping off as you attempted something unsustainable.

Easy recovery at 50% spinning the legs and letting HR drop.

Sample Day 112
0:32:00
40.9TSS
6 Minute Threshold Test

Ramped warm up with activation sprints - minutes 1 to 16. Extended active recovery of an additional 5 minutes at 60% and leg speed of 95+ RPM from minutes 16 to 21.

6 minute maximal effort to begin immediately after the recovery at minute 21. Aiming to ride at the highest maintainable power for the full 6 minutes. Riding at what feels natural in cadence, no need to try and force anything specific. The test wants to be a consistent power output for the whole 6 minutes. If power fluctuates too far over this duration the result will not be valid, so we don't want to see you trying harder over the final minute as you felt to have too much left, or the power dropping off as you attempted something unsustainable.

Easy recovery at 50% spinning the legs and letting HR drop.

Pain Free Power

Our head coach Iain Findlay has been involved in performance cycling since 2011, working with athletes from all areas of the sport. From beginner cyclists and triathletes to a client who has gone on to win gold at a Track World Cup event and multiple Kona qualifiers. With a background in bike fitting and currently undertaking an MSc in Sports Biomechanics, this led into a desire to work more closely with athletes through coaching where we take great pleasure in seeing our athletes succeed!